Okay, we get it, there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, however, there is no ‘I’ in ‘me’ either, is there? Still there are arguably ‘me teams’ in sport and business. Do we actually need to put effort in team coaching and place individual egos aside? More so, how does a team transform into a ‘we team’? From recent sports and business readings, interviews and papers, a simple foundation was constructed, named; WE TEAM.
Work first. There is no need for a team bonding session if your team hasn’t gone through some ups and downs first. Set rules and expectations to use as a starting point and actually experience working together first.
Educate. As a coach or leader, you are not only a mentor but also a teacher. Meaning, you create challenges but also values. Educate skills by game like drills, use deliberate play and practice. Be an example, lead and lift the standards.
Tasks. Not only focus on drills but discuss tasks and be specific in what you want and what the team may need. For example, what can junior team members expect and how can senior team members positively influence the juniors? Create a shared responsibility and, use realistic short- and long term focus goals, make the team member owner of their progress. When an individual want to follow a specific dream, let’s say in sport ‘the Olympics’, then this won’t be happening with 2 training sessions a week times 60 minutes.
Evaluate. We are coming closer to creating ‘we’ teams. Evaluate tasks and responsibilities, don’t let team members swim in the wide ocean of progress questions. This doesn’t mean a coach or leader should have all the answers but be a mediator. In doing so, be concise and honest. From a team members’ point, be proactive and open. What are your strengths that makes the team better and how can you hone your talents? What needs improvement for you to contribute to the team goal in order to achieve your own?
Accountability. Your team had some experience working together, created tasks, shared responsibilities and evaluated individual and team progress or outcomes. With accountability you can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and tailor to individual needs. There is maybe that odd character in the team that actually performs outstandingly. Or that hard worker that just sits on the fence of achievements. Go and do your team bonding activities if needed, reevaluate. Perhaps you already experience a different team cohesion. Measure performance, however, performance only indicates success. Group dynamics, internal influences and external changes have an impact on a ‘we team’.
Manage. Correct, manage to create ‘we teams’. Perhaps you can take a different position as a coach or leader and the team takes more ownership of managing themselves. Coaches or team leaders will still be responsible, but it is great to see ‘we teams’ come together and achieve their goals. This doesn’t mean the individuals have to be best mates, as long as they are best team or work mates.
Bjorn Galjaardt (B.ed -Hons) current M.S. of Sports Coaching. He has 10+ years coaching and managing experience from grassroots to elite level. Current online and in person high-performance consulting for individuals and teams.